Sang-Hyop Lee receives Presidential Commendation Award

Presidential Commendation Honors Lee’s Economic Research

Sang-Hyop Lee with Presidential Commendation AwardSang-Hyop Lee, former director of the Center for Korean Studies, recently received a Presidential Commendation Award at the Government Complex in Daejeon, South Korea. Commissioner of Statistics Kang Shin-Wook presented the award on behalf of Republic of Korea President Moon Jae-In. The award recognizes Lee’s substantial contribution to national industrial development through the production of reliable statistics.

Lee, who is an economics professor at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, is chair of the National Transfer Accounts (NTA) project. NTA is a global network dedicated to improving understanding of how population growth and changing age structure influence economic growth, gender and generational equity, public finances, and other important features of the macro-economy.

The NTA project ( was officially launched in 2004. Since that time, it has provided data to world policymakers in key areas such as social welfare, health, aging, education and gender equity.

Lee earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in economics from Seoul National University and his Ph.D. in economics from Michigan State University. His research focuses on population aging and social welfare issues. In particular, he has investigated the link between population aging and labor market issues, with particular emphasis on Asian economies. Given its empirical and applied nature, a substantial portion of his research involves estimation of economic models using data sets.

Lee's publications include numerous articles and eleven edited books. His recent edited books include Aging, Economic Growth, and Old-Age Security in Asia (Edward Elgar, 2011), Inequality, Inclusive Growth, and Fiscal Policy in Asia (Routledge, 2015), Social Policies in an Age of Austerity (Edward Elgar, 2015), and The Demographic Dividend and Population Aging in Asia and the Pacific (special issue of the Journal of the Economics of Aging, 2016).

In addition to his position in the Department of Economics at UH Mānoa, he is a senior fellow at the East-West Center. He served as director of the Center for Korean Studies from 2013 to 2018.

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